17 Jan 2012

American Samoa concerned about immigration management

9:50 am on 17 January 2012

There's concern in American Samoa that lax enforcement of local immigration laws may prompt the US government to step in.

At a public meeting to review two immigration initiatives, the public felt that the territory needed to be stricter with controlling the influx of foreigners, especially from Asia.

Some say bills to allow US nationals form American Samoa to apply for US citizenship without having to leave the territory and allow foreigners with permanent resident status to become US nationals could attract more foreigners.

This was one of the concerns raised by Sandra King Young.

"We are so lucky, so very lucky that we still have the power to control our borders to manage, to control our immigration laws. But if we are not careful, we are going to end up like the CNMI with the federal government swoops down on us and takes over immigration laws."